Shoestring Backpackers turned out to be the best place we could have chosen to stay. They had a closed in parking lot for the car with a guarded gate. As you walk in there is a bar and lots of sitting areas in an open courtyard with a pool(that we decided we would not be swimming in – the water was not exactly clear) Our room was just around the corner to the bar it was simple but clean. Two bunk beds in a plain small square room with a window. The bathrooms were a little more interesting and tattered looking but they served their purpose!
We got back to shoestring and Alex decided to shower. Raymond and I plopped ourselves down at the bar and started our first of many drinks! The power was out so the beers were not super cold but they were cold enough for us! We were started on our second drink when Alex showed up which was just in time for happy hour to start as well and so we started on shots as well! For $1 a shot and $1 for local beers we couldn’t go wrong!
an artist who displays his work at Shoestrings. He is a new friend of ours and a truly amazing person. He is a true spirit of hope and peace and love. We were intrigued by his stuff and quickly made friends with him. He showed us his work and explained each piece to us. It is about unity of people and the world. Everyone working together, safe sex, acceptance, Unity, one world, one people, peace and love. It is really a beautiful concept and we spent a large portion of the night talking with him about it. We ended up sharing pizza with him and Cowboy(Dexter’s friend). One of their other friends joined us later his name is Happiness, and our little group of six began dancing! We were the only ones dancing for a while then slowly but surely everyone else began to join in! We started the party, chilled with the locals and took shots with the bar tender before passing out for the night. It was such an amazing night, one I will never forget!!!
I woke up the next day once again sick, probably a mixture of whatever I was fighting before mixed with a
lot of alcohol. I spent almost all day in bed sleeping, Alex and Raymond went and wondered around town. That evening we took a Dinner Cruise on the Zambezi River! It was peaceful and beautiful. We saw crocodiles and hippos. The sun set and we were served an amazing dinner of Butternut squash soup, fish and grilled veggies and fruit salad. Raymond had some wine and we all just relaxed, listened to the sounds of nature, and stared out in wonderment at the pitch black that surrounded us.
The next day and I was feeling a lot better so we decided it was time for Bungee jumping! We made our way to the boarder, the bridge is actually in Zambia. We walked across the border into Zambia and over to the bridge. They weighed us and then we got started. We did the Foofy Slide first (Zip Line) across the ravine. We got a good view down the canyon and of the river, it was pretty. Then we went back up to the bridge. Alex was harnessed up to do the swing and Raymond and I were put into new harnesses to do the Bungee first. Alex hoped off
head first(she was supposed to have gone feet first!) when she did the swing and did not make a peep of noise! Raymond and I were both scared to do the swing after watching her dive off! Next was Raymond on the Bungee. He yelled “EPIC” as he jumped off and flew like a natural off the bridge! Next it was my turn, I was not as nervous as I thought I would be, I was more excited! I got harnessed up and then hopped over to the edge, they have you positioned so your toes are over the edge. They do a count down from 5 and then I Jumped!!! I jumped/ dove as far away from the platform as I could without a moments hesitation! It was so awesome I loved it! Then Alex did the Bungee jumping, she went off feet first, (this time she was supposed to be head first!!!). Raymond did the Swing next, again looking like a pro, and then I was up again. I was hooked up to the swing but I was more nervous for this one for some reason. They told me to hop off the edge so I did. I
hopped off and then went into a sitting position... Next thing I realized the ropes were wrapped around my right leg!!! I began to kick frantically, my first thought was if I don’t get my leg out it could break... The rope wrapped around more the wrong way so I kicked again more and it began to unravel. Time seemed to move slowly, when I watch the video the drop is only a few seconds but to me it felt a lot longer. Long enough for me to think, oh shit my leg is in the ropes, it could break, kick, kick kick, shit rope went the wrong way, kick, kick kick, ok better, relax here it comes!.... I knew I was about to hit the point of tension and so I tried to relax, at this point there was a rope on each side of my right leg but no longer twisted around several times. As the ropes jerked to tension they pulled through and around my right leg and then I was jerked out of them. It didn’t hurt at the time thanks to adrenaline and really didn’t look too bad at the start either. Basically as the
ropes pulled to tension it burned my skin cutting the back part of my calf, and twisted around to the top part of my thigh, as well as bruising the back of my knee and my thigh. I was so elated that my leg was not broken and all I had was this burn and a bit of missing skin and swelling that when I got up to the top all I could do still was smile! They cleaned it which hurt like hell and I was limping a bit but I was happy that my leg was not broken! We still had to go into Victoria Falls park and I was not going to miss out on that so after we were done we walked back across the border and over to the entrance to Victoria Falls. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the rainforest, taking photos and then we found a place to sit on the edge and have a few snacks. The falls are so amazing! It was $30 to get in but it was worth it to spend the afternoon in there to see them. We were there during low water so I
would like to go back during high water sometime!
Because of my leg we decided to head back home Thursday. We drove back through Zimbabwe. The roads were not bad, better than the ones in Botswana. We were however stopped about every 30 minutes for either a police check point or a toll which was $1 every time. These usually consisted of people in bright yellow vests standing in the road… Nothing formal. Bulawayo, the capital, is a city in ruins. It is literally crumbling. The stop lights didn’t work, most buildings no longer have glass in the windows, people and trash everywhere. It is really sad.
Overall I loved Zimbabwe, and plan on going back some day. We met many amazing people and the falls are beautiful. Next time I go I want to try out the white water rafting which looks crazy! Also I want to go to the Zambian side where there is a little area right on the edge of the falls that you can actually get into the water and stick your feet over the edge and jump into the Devils Pool right before it!!
*** I have a video
of Dexter explaining his art work, unfortunately with the slow internet I cannot get it to load, same with our bungee video so I’ll have to just show those to everyone when I get home. There are 2 short videos from Vic Falls, one of the people jumping in Devils Pool and one just of a beginning piece of the falls. ***
We got back to Grandpa's Thursday night. After driving all day Raymond dropped us off, I cleaned my leg which was looking a lot worse and hurting a good deal more as well and then went to bed. Friday when I got up Grandpa took me to the chemist to look at my leg. They gave me an ointment that has antibiotics in it to help keep the cut clean and heal faster as well as special bandages to use so that it would not stick to the wound when I pulled it off! Then we went to visit Grandma who was home and looking better! Saturday was Grandma's birthday! We went over for lunch. Marie and Hansie were there and Anton, we sat around talking and grandma opened presents and cards. Afterwards Grandpa, Alex
and I went over to meet Raymond's parents and have dinner with them. We had Fetcook(I’m probably spelling that wrong), which is a thick doughnut type bread that is savory instead of sweet and we put curried mince onto it and had salad! It was good and a first for me! It poured rain all night and we woke up to more rain on Sunday. Despite the rain we went to Rosebank flee market anyways. Alex and I had a good time walking around looking at everything, sadly we couldn’t buy much cause we can’t carry it but it was still a good time. Then Raymond came to get Alex and I and the three of us went to see Narnia! It was good! We all ate too much sour cream and chive flavored popcorn that made us cough if we inhaled! Monday, Alex and I spent the day packing and I went to visit Grandma again. Then Raymond came over and we exchanged pictures from our trip and made a copy of our Bungee jumping video and then we went for dinner to have burgers at Thundergun!!!! Yum Yum! Tuesday, I went to see grandma one last time with
Raymond. She is doing much better. Then we went to get samosas for lunch and then went back to the house to wait for time to pass and finish packing.
The lines at the airport were very long and moved slowly. It took us forever to get through security and passport control. We went to the airport 3 hours before our plane was to leave and it turned out to be a good thing as we walked up to our gate as they were boarding!
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